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Americas

Argentina to complain to UN over UK-Falklands dispute

©

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-08

Argentine’s President Cristina Fernandez (pictured) on Tuesday accused Britain of “militarising” their dispute over the Falklands by sending a modern warship to the South Atlantic islands and vowed to complain to the UN Security Council.

AP - President Cristina Fernandez said Tuesday that Argentina will formally complain to the U.N. Security Council that Britain has created a serious security risk by sending one of its most modern warships to the disputed Falkland Islands.

She accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of militarizing their nations’ dispute over sovereignty of the South Atlantic archipelago, which Argentines say the British stole from them nearly 180 years ago.

Argentines are united in their desire to win back the islands they call the Malvinas through diplomacy and negotiation, she said, urging Cameron to “give peace a chance” by avoiding moves that push the dispute into dangerous territory.

“We have suffered too much violence already to be attracted to military games and wars,” Fernandez said during a nationally broadcast address.

Britain says it originally discovered the islands and claimed them a century before Argentina existed. The Spanish crown claimed them for years, and then an independent Argentina held them before Britain seized them in 1833, driving off the gauchos.

Fernandez blamed Argentina’s 1976-83 military junta and its allies in Argentina’s media for rushing to invade the islands on April 2, 1982 - the start of a brief war that killed 649 Argentines and 257 Britons. Britain routed the ill-prepared Argentine troops, humiliating the junta and hastening the Argentina’s return to democracy.

Other than the planned complaint at the United Nations, Fernandez’s speech revealed no new international measures to support Argentina’s claim to the Falklands.

The claim is enshrined in Argentina’s constitution and will remain a national priority, but it will pursued through diplomacy, not war, Fernandez said.

She urged Britain to comply with United Nations resolutions calling on both sides to negotiate the islands’ sovereignty - a message she has given at nearly every international forum she has attended as president.

“No land should end up being a trophy of war,” she said.

British governments have said there is nothing to negotiate. London insists it won’t discuss sovereignty over the islands without the support of the Falklanders, a population of about 3,100 who clearly want to remain British.

A call seeking comment from Britain’s Foreign Office was not returned late Tuesday.

During her speech, Fernandez decreed that a long-secret analysis of the junta’s failures be made public in 30 days.

She also announced that a mental health center would be opened to care for Malvinas veterans, hundreds of whom have committed suicide in the years since the invasion.

Date created : 2012-02-08

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